Egyptian Religion

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The Egyptians took great care of their dead because of their religious beliefs. According to John Catoir, author of “World Religions: Beliefs Behind Today's Headlines,” Egyptians believed that an afterlife involved a full human existence, not a mere spirit life, therefore the soul must join the body in heaven. It was hoped that by preserving their bodies from decay they would enhance the process of resurrection and provide themselves with a decent start in the new life. The priests who performed the mummification were thought of as acting in the role of Anubis, the god of the dead. The organs, excluding the heart would be removed, and the mouth would be broke open. This allowed for the testimony and the weighing of the heart when attempting to gain entrance into the underworld (afterlife). According to Geoffroy Parrinder, author of “World Religions: from Ancient History to the Present,” the whole embalming of the body seems to have implied an imitation of what was done (in the legend to Osiris by Anubis in Abydos) so the dead person was thereby identified with Osiris: charms were usually placed within the wrappings of the mummy, and special importance was attached to the heart scarab which was placed on the chest. Because of the Egyptians belief that the body and soul unite again in the underworld, their response to cremation would not be a positive one. Since the soul and the body meet up in heaven again, the body would be destroyed, making it impossible to meet up with the soul. In addition, the heart will not have an opportunity to be weighed and the mouth would not be able to testify. After a king died, Osiris would personally identify the king. The motive behind the identification of the dead king with Osiris was to ensure the perpetuation of the king’s rule after death: by becoming Osiris the dead pharaoh would rule over the realm of the dead (Parrinder). According to Roveri Donadoni, author of “Egyptian Civilization: Religious Beliefs,”...
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